Rumors of a Diablo II remaster have been circulating for some time, but earlier this year, those rumors came into sharper focus with sources suggesting it would be called Diablo 2: Resurrected. These rumors also come from the same source which correctly predicted the Overwatch 2, Diablo IV, and World of Warcraft: Shadowlands announcements.When asked what they would and would not want to see from the potential remaster, Schaefer said, “First of all, I think it’s probably impossible to really capture it… It wasn’t even a true 3D game, everything was rendered sprites and so to really capture the exact feel of what happens when you click in a 3D environment is going to be challenging at best.”
“[The development team on the remaster is] going to have to spend a lot of their time [on capturing that feeling], not just on recreating maybe slightly higher fidelity graphics and all that… that’s the easy part. It’s easy to go back and kind of 1:1, make the game look better. It’s going to be the feel and the atmosphere that are kind of inherent in the technology that was behind it, which was… at this point we can look back and say it’s kind of ‘spaghetti code.'”
“It was [built using a] custom engine… it was stuff that hadn’t been done before. I would assume that a remaster is going to be done using an established graphics engine with its own conventions and its own quirks, and so much of what made [Diablo II] special was the feel and the intangibles, so it’s a daunting task. The ideal remaster would be something that actually retains that feel and that atmosphere, that has a modern take on the graphics. Honestly, I hope they pull it off. I’m glad they’re doing it and I don’t have to.”
Uelmen, Diablo’s original composer, also gave his perspective on the potential remaster; “My only strong opinion is that it needs to have more violence, more gore, and more nakedness. Long as they do that, then they’ll be true to the series, in terms of what we were going for, as artists.”
At that, Schaefer added, “Yeah, I’m going to agree with that. The game was made to be shocking and push boundaries and when you have an opportunity to remake it with modern graphics, you’re going to be confronted very quickly with how much are you really going to want to reproduce something that was down to a few pixels in the original version, and not succumb to the temptation to make a censored version.”
“We’re talking about modern Blizzard right now, and they have shareholders and things like that, that we didn’t have to worry about back in the day,” Shaefer laughed before continuing, “I’m curious as to what their approach is gonna be.”For more on the best, brightest, most interesting minds in the games industry, be sure to check out every episode of Unfiltered, which includes interviews with Master Chief co-creator Marcus Lehto, 343’s Bonnie Ross, Valve’s Robin Walker & Chris Remo, Respawn’s Stig Asmussen, and many, many more.
Brian Barnett writes wiki guides, deals posts, features, and much more for IGN. You can get your fix of Brian’s antics on Twitter and Instagram (@Ribnax).